Can-tastic!

My still unfinished kitchen has been pretty steamy these nights… it’s jamboree time.  Luke has been eating an impressive quantity of jam this summer since we introduced peanut butter and greek yogurt into his diet.  It kind of ups the ante this year with the jam production.  I am estimating that I need at least 1 jar of jam per week for the family to stay happy and fed.  I just remembered that we are going to start again with the hot oatmeal breakfasts here soon… that is a serious amount of jam, my friends.

Last week one of my projects was some more canning.  I did mixed berry jam, sugar plum conserve (this is by far my favorite so far!) and jalepeno jelly.  It doesn’t sound like too much, but when you start at 8:30pm after the toddler is peacefully resting and out boiling water’s way you are easily up until 1:00am by the time you are done.

This season I have also made some strawberry jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, peach jam,  a horribly ruined batch of strawberry preserves that I cried while throwing away, and red currant rhubarb jam (also very tasty!).   We gave away most of the peach jam and most of the currant rhubarb jam to family already.  That gives us bonus points with the fam but not too much in terms of the stockpile in the cellar.

{This picture has inspired me to make something pink and orange and frothy for fall!}

I am anticipating that this week will involve raspberries, plums, peaches and red onions.  I really have to get going on all that because in case you hadn’t heard, the apples are ready early this year!  I have got to get these jams done so I can spend more steamy nights with some apple sauce and apple butter.  Did I mention pickles yet?  Oh my great goodness.  These will be some sleepless nights ahead, but certainly ones I will be grateful for as I will inevitably be looking at an expanse of snow drifts from my kitchen window in a few months.

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A tip for crushing loads of berries: Use a 13 x 9″ glass baking pan to place the berries in, and take a flat bottomed glass or mason jar to mash the berries before you measure them for jam.  I have tried doing this several ways and this is by far the easiest way I have found to crush many cups of berries quickly and thoroughly.

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